HUMANITARIANS, a term applied (i) to a school of theologians who repudiate the doctrine of the Trinity and hold an extreme view of the person of Christ as simply human. The adoption of this position by men like Nathaniel Lardner, Joseph Priestley and Theophilus Lindsey in the middle of the 18th century led to the establishment of the first definitely organized Unitarian churches in England. (2) It is also applied to those who believe in the perfectibility of man apart from superhuman aid, especially those who follow the teaching of Pierre Leroux (q.v.).
The name is also sometimes given to the Positivists, and, in a more general sense, to persons v/hose chief principle of action is the desire to preserve others from pain and discomfort.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)